If you’re looking for a weekend getaway in New South Wales, look no further than Orange. With beautiful landscapes, great food and fine wines, it was the first place our Marketing Manager travelled to after lockdown ended. Here are her top 5 reasons Orange should be on your post-lockdown travel list – and some tips on making the most of a long weekend there.
1. It delivers unforgettable views
What would a weekend getaway in Orange be without watching the sun set over vineyards, glass of Pinot Noir in hand? We visited De Salis wines as our last cellar door of the day. It was by accident rather than design, but it’s now my top Orange tip. A family-run winery at an altitude of 1050m and with a beautiful West-facing deck, it was a perfect sunset spot.
If you fancy something more energetic, stop at Towac Pinnacle lookout for 270˚ views of the surrounding countryside. It’s a short 30 minute return walk up the hill and well worth the hike.
2. It’s one of New South Wales’s most vibrant food and wine destinations
Orange is famous for its annual wine festival, but it’s also one of NSW’s top regional foodie towns. Hungry for a brilliant breakfast? Try Byng Street Local Store or Bill’s Beans East Orange. Craving mouth-watering bakery? I’m looking at you, Racine. Have a hankering for Hatted dining? Lolli Redini is the place for you. In short, the food is excellent and there’s no shortage of options.
If you prefer your lunch washed down with local wines, we loved the cheese and wine pairing at Rowlee Wines.
3. It’s a great way to support regional communities
Like many regional towns and cities across Australia, Orange was hit hard by the combined impact of COVID19, bushfires and drought. None of the winemakers in Orange have been able to produce a 2020 vintage. The grapes were badly damaged by smoke taint in last summer’s bushfires when Orange experienced hazardous air quality. For an unlucky few, it’s the second year running not being able to produce a vintage due to smoke taint.
In a survey by the Tourism & Transport Forum Australia, 70% in regional towns said domestic tourism would have positive impacts on their area. And according to this Ibisworld survey, domestic travellers accounted for 70.6% of the GDP generated by tourism in 2018-19. In other words, our dollars can make a real difference.
4. It offers something for everyone
Travelling with little people or just need a break from the cellar door visits? Orange has some beautiful public parks to explore. Grab a coffee from the kiosk and stroll around Lake Canobolas.
Or, a short drive from the city centre is the Botanic Gardens. Entry is free and it’s a wonderful, peaceful spot to spend a couple of hours. Better yet, stop by the nearby Agrestic Grocer to pick up some amazing local produce and take a picnic.
In the city centre, Cook Park is great for kids. At 4.5 hectares it’s small but perfectly formed, with a small aviary featuring native birdlife, swings, duck pond and Victorian bandstand.
5. It’s a great excuse for a roadtrip
Still not convinced? If you live in New South Wales, Orange is a great excuse for a roadtrip. For those of us who live in Sydney, it’s a very accessible weekend getaway – just over 3hrs drive away. More importantly, that drive is through the stunning UNESCO world heritage listed Blue Mountains. We were travelling in June and left Sydney mid-afternoon, arriving in Katoomba around 5pm. We got there just in time to catch the sun setting and a full moon rising over the Three Sisters.
What are you waiting for?
So there you have it, 5 great reasons to visit Orange NSW. Even better, you can pack all of this into one fantastic weekend away. Add it to the post-lockdown travel list today, you won’t regret it.
For more inspiration and tips, visit:
Or if Orange isn’t floating your boat, check out our Domestic Travel Tips from the rest of the TravelCard team for some inspiration.